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Square looks to harvest fun in festival
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The downtown square will celebrate autumn with pumpkins, tractors and family fun as Main Street Covington presents the 2013 Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 19.

The day-long event begins with the annual Mutt Show hosted by the Newton County Humane Society from 8–11 a.m. Vendors will offer fall arts and crafts and food from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

The Newton County Farm Bureau will have antique tractors on display during the festival, and then parade them around the square at 6 p.m. The Farm Bureau also will have a pumpkin patch for children, where safe carving techniques will be taught and pumpkins will be decorated.

Newton County’s 4-H program will have a petting zoo, demonstrate its different projects, and have an area available for children to participate in sidewalk chalk art and coloring.

In addition, Main Street has partnered with the First United Methodist Church of Covington to show the movie "It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

The movie is free and starts at 7 p.m. Those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs and blankets to watch the movie on the square. Boy Scouts will hand out free popcorn.

Serra Phillips, chairman of the Main Street Covington board, said the Harvest Festival will also feature entertainment throughout the day, including square dancing and group Zumba exercises.

There will also be inflatables for children, and Phillips noted that vendors will be selling items such as ceramics, wood art, jewelry, scarves, Southern signs, lawn art and scarecrows. People can even bring their own carved pumpkins to participate in a jack-o’-lantern contest. Downtown retailers will also be open for business during the festival, Phillips said.

Many years ago, Phillips said, there was a festival geared toward art in Covington, and this year, after talking with people in the community, it was decided that a fall event should be reintroduced.

"When the idea came back to start a Harvest Festival again, it was not only to see ideas of purchasing fun crafts and having another event to add to our calendar,  it was really about bringing the awareness of community and bringing it back to Covington," Phillips said.

"Having something safe and fun really is important, also,’’ she said. "To have families, especially in this time that we are in right now, it’s always great to have something that allows us to be outside and enjoy outside when we have such beautiful weather."